The first step to minting is to connect your digital crypto wallet to this website. Follow the instructions below to get started!
Click the button below to connect your wallet.
By default, MetaMask is setup to use Ethereum, which is the most popular network for NFTs. However, because it's so popular, everything you do on Ethereum costs a lot of money ($30-150 to mint an NFT)!
Because of this, we are going to use the Polygon network to mint this NFT. This works just like Ethereum, but is much cheaper! In order to use the Polygon network, you will need to switch networks on MetaMask. Click the button below to add the Polygon network, then switch to it.
A transaction is anything done on a blockchain that updates a piece of data, or state, on the blockchain. The simplest transaction you can do is send crypto, like ETH, from one person to another. Say Alice has 10 ETH, Bob has 10 ETH, and Alice sends 1 ETH to Bob. This updates the state of the data on the Ethereum blockchain, so that Alice has 9 ETH, and Bob has 11 ETH.
This costs real money, because data on a blockchain is a limited resource shared by the entire world, and the more people that try to use a blockchain at the same time, the more expensive the blockchain becomes to use, since whoever pays the most money gets to have their transaction go in before everyone else.
In the future, we'll teach you how you can save a lot of money in gas (transaction) fees if you're willing to wait for a little bit for your transaction to go through.
When you mint (create) an NFT, new data representing that NFT will need to be stored on the blockchain for the first time, which will cost money. Similarly, when you buy an NFT from someone else, the ownership data about the NFT will need to be updated on the blockchain, which will also cost real money.
Minting an NFT costs much more money than simply transferring money from one person to another, because it's a much more complex transaction that involves a lot more computer work and data storage. The more complex a transaction and the more data it stores, the more it costs!
Transactions needs to be signed by your private key associated with your crypto wallet to prove that you are initiating the transaction - this is where the crypto in cryptocurrency comes from - cryptography! Cryptography (public/private key encryption) is how cryptocurrencies ensure that you and only you are allowed to spend your money and initiate transactions for your crypto wallet.
You're probably most familiar with Ethereum - Ethereum was the original blockchain designed to run pieces of code known as smart contracts, which can do anything from creating decentralized programs to lend and borrow money (decentralized finance, or DeFi), to creating decentralized organizations (decentralized autonomous organizations), to creating NFTs!
However, due to extreme popularity and usage, transactions on Ethereum have gotten very expensive - ranging from $5-25 to just transfer money, to $30-150 to mint an NFT!
Because of this, other blockchain networks, like Polygon, have formed. These networks by and large accomplish the same thing as Ethereum, and allow users to create smart contract programs, but they are often faster and cheaper than Ethereum for a range of reasons - oftentimes, they are cheaper simply because fewer people use them.
There are two main kinds of other blockchain networks - layer 2 (L2) networks, like Polygon, which actually live on top of 'layer 1' Ethereum and can interoperate with and are complementary to Ethereum, and competing 'layer 1' smart contract blockchains, like Solana, that seek to compete directly with and replace Ethereum.
Most networks, like Polygon, are 'EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible', meaning they can run the exact same code as Ethereum and are functional in precisely the same way. Other networks, like Solana, use their own programming system and are not interoperable.
We use Polygon for this minting experience because it is EVM compatible and identical to using Ethereum mainnet in almost every way. You interact with smart contracts in the same way, mint NFTs in the same way, and you can even see your NFTs on OpenSea, the most popular NFT marketplace, just like you can with mainnet Ethereum NFTs!
There are more technical details, but the only real difference that's important right now is that when using Polygon, you need to switch your MetaMask network to point to Polygon, not Ethereum. Also, to pay for gas (transaction) fees, you need to use Polygon's native currency, MATIC, instead of ETH for Ethereum mainnet.
Here are some helpful resources: